The holiday season is arriving, and so are many opportunties to derail your weight loss plans. So make sure you have a strategy to keep from adding extra weight during the holidays.
In fact, if you’re determined and have the right help, you can keep losing weight. Give us a call at (808) 551-4348 for a free consultation if you’re in Hawaii and need some help with that.
Yes, it’s a social season, and between office parties and family get-togethers there’s always temptation, but you don’t have to lose control during the holidays and face the New Year with regret. Here are 10 tips for keeping weight off during the holidays.
Never Arrive Hungry
Be sure to make the time for a nutritious snack and a glass of water before you leave. Even a serving of Greek Yogurt or an apple with a cheese stick can make you feel much more in control when you arrive at the buffet table. Remember that old adage about not spoiling your supper? Spoil it. Your goal is not to feel ravenous when the food is served.
Use this opportunity to find out what everyone has been up to. Ask lots of questions and listen well to the answers. The event you’re attending doesn’t have to be all about food. Enjoy the people, mix more, dance… don’t hover at the buffet.
Don’t “Taste” Too Much When Cooking
If you’re the cook, tasting still counts as eating. Of course it’s legitimate to check the amount of salt or spice in a dish, but don’t be nibbling the whole time you’re in the kitchen. Some find chewing minty gum helps.
Take a little. Tell yourself, and others, that you can always come back for more. Don’t stack your plate, and choose some of the healthier choices. Learn to say no politely, and if your host is insistent, simply leave food on your plate. Maintaining your health is a more important choice in the moment than avoiding waste, or even hurt feelings. Simply tell them it was delicious, but you are full.
Chew slowly, and take your time eating over the course of a party. Take small bites and enjoy the taste and texture of each one. You don’t have to load your fork, or even cover it. A half-forkful at a time is plenty, so take your time. Feel in control – and put your fork down for a moment if you don’t.
Watch Out for Sauces and Dips
Sauces and dips often hide a lot of calories, so use them scantily if at all. Remember to avoid them if you’ve chosen a gluten-free diet to help you lose weight, unless you know exactly what they contain.
It’s not just the carbs and calories in alcohol – although there can be lots. It’s ensuring you don’t get out of control and wake up the next day with regrets. Get a glass of water or club soda that you can sip at. If you must have alcohol, choose a lower-calorie option such as wine or a wine spritzer. Definitely avoid the full-fat eggnog, which is 321 calories per serving compared to wine at 123 calories.
Be Careful at Dessert Time
You can meet family pressure with “I’m full, so I may try a little later.” If you want to try a dessert that is a special treat for you, keep the portion small and your weight loss goals in mind. Fresh fruit is often available and can be a good choice. If you’re going to a friend’s party, you could even bring a low calorie treat from home to substitute.
Take a Walk After Dinner
Try to get the family to join you for a family walk. You’ll feel better, and burn off a few of those extra calories. When your body feels you using the food you just ate as fuel, it won’t start immediately storing it for later as fat.
Try To Get Some Quality Sleep
Decorating, shopping, guests, entertaining and going to parties can be exhausting. Research on sleep is clear – if you get less than 5 hours, you’ll have lower levels of leptin, which is a hormone that controls how full you feel, compared to someone who gets 8 hours or more. You’ll also have higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite. What this means is that when you’re exhausted, you’ll feel hungrier and less satisfied after eating. That’s not going to set you up to achieve your weight loss target, so be sure to make some time for sleep if weight loss is a priority for you.